Date & time
Iumi tok stori fastaem: findings from a recent survey of cave sites in western Solomon Islands and reflections about navigating between spaces of Indigeneity and archaeological research
Navigating spaces of, and between, Indigeneity and university research is a contentious and often personally challenging task. As a university-trained and paid Solomon Islander archaeologist, it is plain for me to recognise my privileged social position and education. Knowing how to best utilise my privilege, however, to develop effective cultural heritage management practices, community engagement outcomes and capacity-building opportunities is easier said than done.
This two-fold presentation gives, firstly, a summary of findings from a recent three-week field survey of cave sites on Wagina, western Solomon Islands, which was aimed at identifying the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region. Secondly, it contextualises these findings and the presenter’s broader archaeological and anthropological research within theoretical and moral discussions about Indigeneity and the politics of knowledge production.
Drawing upon the growing body of Indigenous-authored and critical literature on these matters, in particular writings on Solomon Islands tok stori, personal reflections and aspirations are shared from the presenter’s perspective as a Solomon Islander of I-Kiribati and British descent.
This seminar will be in hybrid format, both in-person and online. Zoom details will be sent to individuals once they register via Eventbrite.
About the Speaker
Charles James Tekarawa Radclyffe is a Solomon Islander of I-Kiribati and British descent. He specialises in archaeological and anthropological research in Oceania and considers himself blessed to live and work in such a culturally diverse and beautiful part of the world!
Over the last decade, he has participated in and directed cultural research programs primarily in Solomon Islands as well as Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Highlights from his fieldwork in his home country of Solomon Islands include surveying beautiful coastlines and pristine lagoons, eating delicious local fruits and traditional foods, and, most importantly, building relationships with local landowners and learning of their rich kastom (‘traditional’) knowledge and histories.
His current areas of research include the history of pottery-making in Solomon Islands, pre-European settlement and the development of exchange networks in the country, and navigating academic spaces as an early career Pasifika researcher.
As one of Solomon Islands’ first archaeologists to hold a PhD, Charles recognise the privilege of his education as well as the duty and responsibility that comes with it to improve archaeological research and cultural heritage management practices in his home nation.